TMH Living Well: Planning out your delivery day | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH Living Well: Planning out your delivery day

The Memorial Hospital

Myndi Christopher

If you are planning to have a baby or are already pregnant, it's a good idea to think about options for your delivery day. Do you want to use a birthing ball? Is there a plug-in for your music player? What's the room like, and is there a reclining chair for your partner? Once you start thinking about it, the list grows.

First off, make sure the atmosphere and especially the medical staff at the hospital are a good fit for you. Having your baby close to home is ideal for visiting family and friends.

"At The Memorial Hospital, we have a great family atmosphere. The nurses are really attentive to your needs and very receptive to what you want your birthing experience to be," said Ellen Pugh, RN, nurse manager for labor and delivery at TMH.

Consider birthing tools

The days are gone when women spent most of their labor in bed. Today, doctors, nurses and midwives support women in moving about the room to help labor progress.

"Gravity is really your friend. We encourage moms to be up and out of bed as much as possible. We have birthing bars and birth balls in each of our labor and delivery rooms. We also have a peanut ball for moms who opt for an epidural and can't get out of bed; this aids in positioning and keeps their pelvis open, making room for the baby," she said.

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Times of calm and relaxation are important, too. Expectant moms appreciate the jetted tubs in the labor rooms at TMH. Having a partner to massage sore muscles and offer encouragement are also a must. Nurses are happy to do this, as well.

"Moms-to-be don't always know what to expect. We are there for them to offer hands-on comfort and massage, along with reassurance and emotional support," Pugh added.

Bring comfort items

The nurses at TMH encourage patients to bring comfort items, including special pillows, massage tools, favorite soothing music and more.

"We want our patients to feel at home. Our only request is that they leave candles at home as we have oxygen in the rooms, making it a fire hazard. Vaporizers for essential oils are just fine," Pugh said.

Pain medicines — yes or no?

While you can't control exactly how the birth will go, it's wise to consider your expectations. Who do you want present in the delivery room? What breathing techniques feel most natural to you? Do you want pain control medicines or not?

"We respect our patients' wishes. If they want a medicine-free labor, we can do that. We go with the flow and encourage patients and partners to tell us what they need. If pain control is desired we can offer many options — from medication to pressure points, and yes, we have anesthesia providers to administer epidurals," Pugh said.

Delivering at TMH

TMH continues to improve its already state-of-the-art facilities. Currently, the hospital is obtaining brand-new fetal monitoring equipment with telemetry capabilities that will allow women in labor free movement to walk around or be in the tub. The department also is getting new infant warmers in the special care nursery and in the labor rooms that provide oxygen when needed, increased monitoring, a built-in scale and more.

"Women are always surprised by our modern and attractive rooms, and at all we have to offer," Pugh said.

Are you following our "Babies Happen Here" campaign? Two local moms, Kelsey Loya and Daina Wagner, are sharing their pregnancy journey with us. Kelsey's due in October, and Daina just delivered her beautiful baby girl Thursday. To learn more about Babies Happen Here and giving birth at TMH, visit http://www.thememorialhospital.com. Choose Services, then Labor and Delivery.

The Memorial Hospital offers "What to Expect When You're Expecting" tours each quarter as well as prenatal classes. You can see the labor and delivery rooms, meet nursing staff and get a chance to ask parent-to-be questions of physicians. The next tour is scheduled for November.

This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig — improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered health care and service excellence.